Published: Tue, February 18, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

President Trump Pardons Ex-49ers Owner Ed DeBartolo, Jerry Rice Celebrates!

President Trump Pardons Ex-49ers Owner Ed DeBartolo, Jerry Rice Celebrates!

NFL greats including Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, and Jim Brown were on hand at the White House, expressing their support for DeBartolo, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Trump has used the power of pardon several times throughout his presidency to clear high-profile Americans convicted of crimes. He pled guilty to the charge of failing to report a felony, and received a $1 million fine and two years of probation. I'm glad to be here and be a part of that, and it's just something I'll never forget.

Rice said Trump told him the pardon was about DeBartolo Jr. and his accomplishments.

"Eddie was like that 12th man that was on that football field".

He grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, where his father started the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation developing shopping malls and real estate holdings.

In 1999, DeBartolo gave up his stake of the 49ers. The documents included an "unexecuted agreement" between DeBartolo and Stephen Edwards. The family business was started by DeBartolo's father, who died in 1994.

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DeBartolo Jr., who owned the San Francisco 49ers during their 1980s-1990s dynasty, was involved in one of the biggest owners' scandals in the sport's history.

DeBartolo's family also owned the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins from 1977 to 1991.

The team averaged 13 wins per season from 1981 to 1998 and appeared in the playoffs in 16 seasons, making the NFC championship 10 times. He avoided prison time, but faced a $1 million fine and a yearlong National Football League suspension - ultimately relinquishing control of the team to his sister, Denise York, in 2000.

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 06: Edward DeBartolo, Jr., former San Francisco 49ers Owner, speaks during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Canton, Ohio. The team is now run by his nephew, Jed York.

A majority of Trump's 24 presidential pardons have gone to "well-connected individuals who have a direct line to him or influence among his supporters", according to The Post.

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